Since we live in the neighborhood where the shooting took place and there has been such little information released, I am providing what I have discovered.
Start of the Shooting
At about 10:30 yesterday, my wife and I were outside about to go on a run when we heard several gunshots and what sounded like automatic gun fire with responding shots from police. This went on for about an hour. A video taken by my son is found here and you can hear the shooting in the background. The news and HPD was very slow to release information and most people in the neighborhood expected a shooter to come around the corner at any moment as we watched the police helicopter circle overhead.
Car Wash Owner Spared
This morning, I walked up to the scene and the eyewitness was there talking to people. She is a nice lady that operates a car wash on weekends with her husband in the parking lot of a tire shop that is closed on those days. So here is what happened: As the lady was working, a regular customer drove up to have his car detailed. As she was speaking with him, the shooter walked up behind her and shot the poor man. As she dropped to the ground and began to pray, he told her that she could live because she is a Christian. She asked why he shot the man and the shooter rambled on about Jews and sinners or something to that effect. He then stood outside the closed tire shop and began shooting at cars. She and her husband ran across the street as the shooting continued. Apparently, he continued to ramble on about the government.
The police arrived pretty quick but were met with gunfire and had to retreat to safety – one across the street and one behind his own patrol car. They exchanged gunfire with him for over an hour as the crazed man continued to shoot at pedestrians and the police. Across the street from the tire shop there is a Conoco gas station which was hit by bullets and caught fire. We could see the smoke rise from our yard during the shooting. It looks like a total loss. At some point, the shooter broke into the tire shop and began posting messages on the wall complaining about the government or something. After more than an hour of shooting back and forth, a sniper from HPD SWAT was able to take up a position across the street and shoot the killer. The photo on the right is from the approximate location of the shooter looking towards one of the rooftops where the police sniper was likely located when the fatal shot hit its target.
A Second Shooter?
News reports yesterday indicated that there was a second shooter who was shot by the first. According to the car wash owner and other sources, the second shooter was actually an innocent citizen who came on the scene by foot and shot at the perpetrator only to be shot and wounded in return fire.
A Military Connection?
Allegedly, military discharge papers were found in the belongings of the shooter indicating previous service in the Middle East. So, it is likely investigators are looking into the possibility of PTSD.
Shell Casings Everywhere
There must have been hundreds and hundreds of shell casings at the scene as I found one this morning long after the police have left. It appears to be a 5.56 millimeter which I believe can be used in an AR-15.